Constructed by the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building to an Ed Louchard design, “Belle’ recently underwent a major restoration and re-power returning her to ‘as-new’ condition.
The Truant Class Fantail Gaffer was designed as a weekender/daysailer in the classic tradition. She is comfortable and seaworthy and shows a good turn of speed. She was created to deal well with chop and tiderips while still being fast, especially in light airs.
The Truant’s full keel, ample beam and generous topsides give her the presence and feel of a much larger boat. Her cockpit can accommodate up to eight sailors, making her an ideal boat for sociable racing and day sailing.
Built with the finest boat lumber available, her hull is one-inch Western Red Cedar from the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Frames are Oak and the backbone is Fir. All fastenings are bronze, and the 1,900-pound ballast keel is lead. These materials produce a strong and light vessel that is easily repaired and maintained.
“Belle’s” sails are new in 2022 by Schattauer sails of Seattle and include a gaff-rigged mainsail with a new cover and a roller furling jib. Spars are Fir. Standing rigging is galvanized, hand-spliced wire rope parceled and served in the traditional fashion. Running rigging includes rope-stropped wooden blocks and spliced three-strand Dacron rope.
The expansive cockpit features varnished wood-slat benches running fore and aft with a custom canvas winter cover. Auxiliary power is provided by a brand new Elco electric motor elegantly concealed within a custom Fir and Mahogany engine box.
Five of these beautiful boats were built, and “Belle” is hull number 4. For the discerning sailor, seeking something special, “Belle” is a sublimely enchanting example of what the finest local Pacific Northwest artisan shipwrights can produce.
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